Home Forums Air and Sea Naval If I can do it, so can you–a 1/700 rigging tutorial

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  • #135367

    There’s no doubt that late 18th century ships’ rigging is one of those rabbit holes in which a war gamer can lose themselves. Forever. The first rule—much as in painting figures—is to work to your own satisfaction. Personally, I like detail and I like to reflect historical ‘truth’ (if there is such a thing). However, sailing ships were the most complex human invention of their times. The miles and miles of rigging simply cannot be duplicated at 1/700th scale. And even if it could, my vision and hand-eye coordination would not allow ME to accomplish it. Furthermore, while all ships used rigging to support the masts and spars and manipulate the sails, there is no ‘one way’ to rig a vessel. There are national and regional differences as well as the specific knowledge and whims of the captains and crews.

    There are some great resources available to the ship modeler. I intensely studied the tutorials provided by JJ (http://jjwargames.blogspot.com/2019/12/all-at-sea-rigging-tutorial.html) and War Artisan (Jeffrey Knudson) (http://www.warartisan.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/Rigging_Tutorial.176184616.pdf) and finally Rory McCreadie’s tutorial at Vol’s site (https://volsminiatures.blogspot.com/2014/05/rory-mccreadies-step-by-step-guide-to.html). As a matter of fact, Vol’s site is a wealth of how-to information. I also found the SchoonerMan site (Standing Rigging of a Merchant Ship,  70 Tons) to be invaluable.

    The most important rigging tip was from War Artisan (WA) who talks about stiffening up thread with glue before attempting to rig. Absolutely essential—particularly since the thread provided by Warlord is quite thin and flimsy. After my first experience with this thread I’ll pitch it and use regular sewing thread. The tutorials have two different methodologies. JJ and Rory run rigging from point to point so a single thread can be used for many different lines. However, WA cuts each run of rigging separately to the exact length needed and glues each end. Both techniques present unique challenges to me. I am less than dexterous (ahem…) and visually impaired (no vision in one eye, hence no, nada, not even a hint of depth perception. Consequently, I’ve taken a middle path, adapting techniques to match my abilities. What follows is my way of rigging these wonderful little 1/700th scale ships.

    Part I

    Prepare the lines. As in all things the quality of the thread that you begin with will be reflected in the finished job. There are, however, a few things to consider. First, the weight of the thread. I use a ‘coat’ weight black thread for the standing rigging and a spool of tan sewing thread for the running rigging. (The spool I have is non-coat weight. There’s no label so I don’t actually know the weight.) You may or may not have to play around a bit to discover what type of thread you prefer to use. Some people prefer cotton thread. Others prefer synthetic. I go with synthetic. The issue I have with cotton thread it that it will always have minute fibers sticking out from the shaft of the thread. I have yet to find a technique that lays them down and at the scale of the ships I just think the errant fibers look really bad. The cotton proponents usually seem to coat the thread with beeswax to alleviate the problem.

    001

    002

    The flexibility and curl of the thread can be problematic. Thus, I have found it essential to stretch and stiffen the thread before even beginning the rigging job. Taking a yard length piece of thread I use a clothespin or bindery clip to attach one end of the thread to a ruler. Then, I insert the ruler under a heavy book on a top shelf. Attach another clip to the bottom end of the thread and let it hang free. Depending on the thread it may spin quit a bit as it works its way loose and all stretch and curl is pulled out of the length. That’s fine, let it spin. Once it’s completed you can proceed to the next step.

    Coat the thread with PVA glue (white glue). Put a dab of glue on your figures and run them up and down the thread twisting the thread between your fingers. You want to do this fairly quickly to achieve a nice smooth coating of glue on the thread. As the glue dries it will become tacky and if you continue to run your fingers over it you’ll end up creating a rough surface as your fingers pull the glue away from the thread. You may want to apply several coats of glue depending on the stiffness you want to achieve. I like the running rig thread to be quite stiff. For the standing rigging, which I like to run from one point to another, I prefer less stiffness.

    There are some minor considerations of glue and thread here. Cotton thread advocates say that cotton thread does a better job of soaking up the glue. Synthetic does not and if the glue does not penetrate the thread, it tends to flake off once dry. But, since I prefer synthetic thread, I try to counteract this by using Aleene’s Tacky Glue. Aleene’s glue has good adherence and creates a more flexible sheath over the glue. Elmer’s does tend to become brittle and will flake off if the thread is bent. Conversely, Elmer’s provides more stiffness. you’ll have to experiment to figure out which glue works best for you. Sometimes I start with Aleene’s and then overcoat with Elmer’s if I want more stiffness.

    Once the glue is good and dry (I give it a good 24 hours), you’re ready to proceed to the rigging fun.

    Collect your tools. Fine point tweezers (one or more) and small scissors are essential. I also use a small ruler to help me estimate the lengths of line to cut. I use white glue to secure knots and loops. Again, I use Aleene’s for this as it dries crystal clear. I apply it with an old paintbrush. I keep an old ceramic tile on the desk to use as a glue palette: put a dab of glue on the palette, pick it up with the brush and apply it liberally over the thread including the knot (if there is one) and everywhere the thread contacts the model. One of the advantages of preparing your thread with a glue stiffener is that glue sticks to glue really, really well. If you’re a bit too liberal with the glue, Aleene’s is quite water soluble and can be washed off the model with a wet brush. Once you’ve applied glue: LET IT DRY. Exercise patience. Apply the glue to a spot or two and walk away for 10 to 15 minutes. Come back, trim the loose ends and start with the next line. This cannot be overemphasized! I also use miniature clothespins quite a bit. The come in hand to maintain tension on a line while the glue dries.
    003

    The final handy tool is a rigging diagram. Here you can see a quick sketch to remind me what I was doing with the standing rigging.
    004

    Nothing is as frustrating as trying to tie knots in tight spaces—this is particularly true for lines that begin or end with the mainmast in the center of the ship. At this point you have an opportunity to avoid some of the most difficult points by tying the thread to the masts before attaching the masts to the ship hull. Any lines that you can attach while the attachment points are easily accessible should be considered. At this point you may even consider attaching some of the shroud lines to the hull (more on this later).

    Notice in the diagram that line 3 (shown in green) starts at the base of the foremast, runs to the maintop and then to the bowsprit. In this case I have attached the line to the base of the foremast before the mast is glue in. While it would be difficult to knot the line at the maintop, in this case since the line continues to the bowsprit, a knot at the maintop isn’t really necessary. Just a loop around the mast will suffice. In general, you want to start at the most difficult point and run to and end at the easier points.

    The same goes for lines 1 and 2 (shown in purple) which run from the mainmast to the mizzen. So for these lines, attach one end to the most difficult point first. Once the masts are attached to the hull, then the lines can be run to their end points, tied off and glued. Lines 4 and 5 (and the unnumbered line 6—the flying jib stay) all begin and end at fairly accessible points so they can be attached later. As a matter of fact, the flying jib stay is typically the last piece if the rigging I do.

    The next picture shows the masts with the lines attached and glued but before the masts are glued to the hulls. Always leave yourself plenty of line to work with. Most likely you’ll be knotting (or at least looping) the line around the end point. You need to leave enough line to work with to do this. I always leave at least two inches of spare line. It’s difficult for me to work with anything shorter than that.
    005

    The following photo shows the masts glued in. Plenty of time was allowed for the glue to set before proceeding to run the lines. Keep in mind that as you rig you will be subjecting the masts to some pressure as you pull the lines taut. The masts need to be solidly attached to the hull before undergoing that. Notice the miniature clothespins holding the lines in place while the glue dries.
    006

    The line running from foremast-mainmast-bow sprit is glued only at the foremast and the back of the mainmast at this point. Once the glue has dried, the clip holding the thread to the base will be removed in order to provide some slack. Then a clean piece of thread (without a glue coating) will be used to cinch the lines together just under the maintop. As it is right now it is clearly obvious that the line goes up the port side of the mast, around the back, and then down to the bowsprit on the starboard side of the mainmast. Realistically, these lines would meet at almost the same spot directly under the maintop.
    007

    The next photo shows how it looks after cinching but before the extra cinch string has been trimmed away.
    008

    Dab the cinch knot with glue, let it dry then proceed with the final connection point on the bowsprit. In this case the line was passed under the bowsprit and over the top, around itself, and then back under the bowsprit in the opposite direction. No knot is tied in this case. The looping and gluing will be secure enough. This has the effect of moving the contact point to the center of the top surface of the bowsprit. At this scale it’s really obvious when the line passes beside a spar and under it rather then meeting the spar in the center of the top surface as it would in real life.
    009

    Finally, the last two stays running from the bowsprit to the masts are rigged. These are pretty straight forward. Start with the bowsprit, tie the lines, glue, let dry. Then proceed to the next mast, etc. The most challenging aspect is tension. I admit that I am not very good at getting the tension right. Invariably, I end up pulling some string too taut and introducing slack in some other line. For this particular model it appears that I have unintentionally introduced a forward rake to all thee masts. Most errors of this type are usually not too obvious to the inexperienced observer. I’m not going to lose sleep over it.
    010

    This completes the center-line stays. Sit back, and contemplate shrouds—those lines that extend from the masts to the gunwales of the hull.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #135369

    Part II

    Now begins what I consider to be the most difficult part of this build. Most of the problems arise from the use of the plastic ratlines supplied by the manufacturer. Notice the three holes in the bulwarks in the picture above. These are for running two sets of shrouds for each mast. The shrouds extend from the holes to the top- and top-gallant masts. (Actually, there were many more shrouds. Technically the ratlines are the horizontal ropes used as ladders to ascend and descend to the tops. They, too, are attached to multiple shrouds running vertically from the masts to the gunwales. But needs be we must simplify!)

    However, the way these models were designed, the ratlines overlap these holes. Historically, the shrouds would not pass through the ratlines. They would be located aft of them. So we need to either drill new holes aft of the ratlines in the bulwarks for the shrouds (which is not possible for the foremast because of the location of the gangway and the hammock rack) or we need to trim the ratlines to accommodate the shrouds. Since I’m going to trim the ratlines anyway to accommodate the projecting cannon muzzles, I’ll take this second option.

    A second consideration is that the shrouds must pass on the outside of the ratlines. If you simply ran the shrouds through the hole, one of them would be on the inside of the ratlines which would then interfere with the shroud’s path to the attachment point higher up on the mast. Frankly, there are no easy solutions unless you simply omit the shrouds. Given that they are pretty well hidden once the model is finished this may be a viable option for some people. Visually, the ratlines are a much more defining feature of the model than the shrouds. It really depends on your level of obsession and how much work you want to do. I’m pretty obsessive.

    Since the mizzen shrouds provide the least problems (they are correctly located aft of the ratlines) I’ll go ahead and complete them. In order to ensure that both shrouds are outside of the ratlines, I insert a loop of the shroud line though the hole from the outside. I then pull the loop over the bulwark and pull the loose ends of the line though the loop in an upwards direction. Then pull the loop tight by pulling the loose ends upward. I do this for both the port and starboard shrouds. Essentially, I am hitching the shrouds to the bulwark.

    011

    Each shroud is then fed upward to its attachment point and looped/tied to the mast and glued. I do port and starboard of the lower shroud, then port and starboard of the upper shroud ensuring that I do not over tighten them and pull the mast to either port or starboard.

    012

    Take your time and let the glue dry. Notice the use of miniature clothespins to keep the lines under slight tension while the glue dries. Take your time. Practice patience.

    Once the mizzen shrouds are dry and the excess line trimmed off then it’s time to hitch the main and fore shrouds to the bulwark. But before running the shrouds to their finish points, we want to install the ratlines. Notice the ubiquitous clothespins being used to keep the loose lines out of the way for now.

    013

    Now comes the most onerous part of the build: The Ratlines. This is where a set of magnifying goggles and small sharp scissors are worth their weight in gold. First off, cut the correct set of ratlines from the sheet—highly important! (Don’t ask me how I know.) The next thing I do is put a small amount of glue between the acetate sheet and the white paper backing in order to make it easier to see the ratlines as I cut them out. Be careful not to get glue directly behind the ratline. That would leave quite a mess when you finally separate the acetate from the backing paper. You want the clear parts of the ratline to remain clear. I also lay a sheet of white card stock across my work surface. Once the ratlines are separated from their paper backing I find them almost impossible to see since my normal work surface is dark green.

    Starting with the most difficult placement first means starting with the mainmast. There are a couple of challenges here in addition to the aforementioned shrouds. The bottom edge of the ratlines should sit directly on the channels, those flat surfaces extending from the outside of the hull. Those surfaces are obstructed by the deck guns so the ratlines will need to be notched to allow the muzzles through. In addition, the courses (those furled sails on the lowest spars of the main and fore masts) also interfere with the placement of the ratlines. I’ll be cutting a notch in the leading edge at the top of the ratlines to accommodate the sail. And, since every build can be a little different, the actual length of the ratline and placement of the notches may vary.

    The procedure will be to 1) Very Carefully cut the entire ratline from the sheet; 2) Carefully notch the bottom edge to accommodate the protruding gun muzzles while ensuring that the ratline does not interfere with the previously attached shroud, 3) Carefully notch the leading edge to accommodate the furled sail, 4) Carefully trim the upper point of the ratline to the correct length, 5) finally, Carefully glue the ratline to the mast and hull. Do all this while handling the ratlines with kid gloves. It is very easy to scratch the ink off of the acetate. Also note the repeated use of the word ‘Carefully’. Spare parts are not provided. (Don’t ask me how I know.)

    Before and after pictures of the mainmast ratlines. Note I over cut the sail notch on the one on the left.

    014 – 015

    Once a pair of ratlines is attached I go ahead and run the shrouds for that mast to where they’re suppose to go. Let ’em dry and trim ’em. This at least gets the loose lines out of the way while you tackle the next set of ratlines. After gluing on the fore- and mainmast ratlines and shrouds the mizzen mast should be a cakewalk.

    Once all the ratlines are attached… well then, this project is beginning to take on some character.

    016

    017

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #135371

    Part III

    There are only a few lines of the standing rigging left to do. For the most part, though, we’ll wait and add them after we’ve completed the running rigging. The running rigging is used to manipulate the sails themselves, so for most of the rigging we want the sails in place. However, it is easier to attach the lifts before the sails. In real life, the lifts are used to raise and lower the spars. I like to glue the lifts to the front of the masts because once the sails are attached they will hide where the lifts are glued to the masts. This presents a slightly cleaner appearance to the ship when viewed from aft. But, because the very top lifts are in an exposed position at the very top of the masts, I’ll leave them off for now in order to relieve me of having to reattach them later on. (Again, don’t ask me how I know.)

    This is also a chance to practice a technique that will be used extensively with the running rigging. Some people like to run a long line to multiple points to reduce the number of pieces of string used. I don’t have the dexterity to weave a long line in and out of all the other lines. Nor do I possess the hand-eye coordination to cut single lines to precise lengths. I’ve adopted what I call the ‘V’ approach. Most of the running rigging mirrors itself, that is, it’s the same on the port side as on the starboard. The two lines invariably meet somewhere and form a nice symmetrical ‘V’. I cut an oversize length of line, fold it in the middle and attach the ‘V’ where it needs to be. (Using Tacky glue makes this convenient—it is tacky enough to hold the line in position before it has completely dried.) I then lay the legs of the ‘V’ over the mirrored points. Sometimes I’ll let the ‘V’ dry before gluing the legs. Sometimes I’ll go ahead and glue the legs. It really depends on how easy it is to get to the attachment points. If the end points are difficult to reach, let the ‘V’ dry so you don’t dislodge it while gluing the end points. If it’s easy to get to all three points then go for it. Once the glue on the end points has dried, then I trim the line back to the proper length.

    In the next picture, I’ve cut and bent the six lifts (the ‘V’s) that I’m going to attach. I create the ‘V’ by bending the thread over the edge of the thin ruler. Since this thread has a sheath of glue it is stiff enough to hold the shape. Then, using a small brush, I put a dab of glue on the mast where the ‘V’ is to be located. Since the lifts are easily accessible, I go ahead and put glue at the end points—which are at the ends of the yards. (Note that I put the glue on the model, not on the lines. I find that I’m not dexterous enough to precisely place the sting right where it needs to go. But, I can get it close enough to the glue spot and then maneuver it into the glue using tweezers and my trusty magnifier.)
    018

    Note how the legs of the ‘V’ overhang the end points on the spars. Once thoroughly dry, they’ll be trimmed back.

    019

    Now that the ship has lifts it would be appropriate to give the lifts something to do by attaching the sails. I like to make my own sails so I have full control over the color and the level of detail. So, using the provided sails as templates I outline my sails on a piece of 67# white card stock and use paints to supply the color. For the reefing points and other details I simply lightly sketch them on with a mechanical pencil using the thinnest lead I have (which is not really thin enough!). I measure the space for the mizzen driver (or spanker) so that it fits correctly. This can vary for each ship and depends upon how you ended up gluing the boom and gaff on. Carefully cut out the sails and impart a curve to them. I do this by moistening the back side and then wrapping the sails around a paint bottle, wrap all this with a paper towel and then wrap a string round the whole thing. Set it aside to dry thoroughly and when you unwrap everything the sails will have a nice even billow which it will hold on its own. Then, of course, you carefully attach the sails to the spars. I save the jibs for one of the last steps so I don’t have to maneuver around them when attaching the running rigging.
    020

    021

    If you’ve gotten to this point you are probably obsessive enough to want the running rigging, too. This will mostly be done using the ‘V’ method. I start with the foremast and work my way from bottom to top.

    Cut and fold three ‘V’s. I tend to crimp the crease with the tweezers to ensure that it is a nice sharp bend. Though, sometimes the string will resist holding the shape. Remember to cut the lines plenty long in order to have something to hold onto while manipulating the line into the proper position.
    022

    Take your time and remember to let the glue dry before rushing in to do the next line. Notice the overhang once attached. In this case there was about an eighth of an inch extra to trim off. I was kicking myself for not giving myself a greater amount to work with.
    023

    024

    The mainmast works much the same as the foremast. Notice how the braces (the lines used to angle the yards to the wind) run to the mast behind, i.e., the braces of the foremast sails run to the mainmast, the braces of the mainmast sails run to the mizzenmast. In most countries, the braces for the mizzen sails ran forward to the mainmast. However, on British ships they used a different configuration. On British ships the mizzen braces seem to have run backward to the driver gaff rather than forward to the mainmast. It is a distinct look and is one of the ways British ships can be identified. Since I’m working on a British ship I will reflect this unique arrangement on this model.

    Take your time. Be patient. Let the glue dry before trimming away the excess line.
    025

    Once the running rigging has been completed we can move onto the foresails or jibs. The jibs flew from various stays running from the bowsprit to the foremast. Typically, there were up to four different jibs that could be flown depending upon the whim of the captain. (Though later square rigged ships—particularly clippers—might have as many as six jibs!) This model was provided with three jibs. Two of them will be attached to the already rigged stays, one (the most forward one) will need a newly installed stay. After carefully cutting the jibs out, I attach a long length of tan thread to the lower inside corners to represent the ‘sheets’. These were the ropes that held the jibs tight. For the smallest jib, which will be the most forward sail, I take a long length of black line and glue the sail to it leaving plenty of free string on both ends. These ends will be tied to the bowsprit and the foremast so leave plenty of sting for the knots.

    As the glue dries on that sail I attach the other two jib sails to the stays already attached to the model. Working my way forward I glue the largest jib to the first stay, the middle one to the second. Once those have dried, run the third one from the bowsprit to the fore top or the fore top-gallant. The jib sheets can be run to a number of accessible locations, either the base of the foremast, the catheads or the foremast shrouds where they contact the bulwarks. Since we’re done with the mast rigging, now is also a good time to attach the previously omitted top-gallant lifts.
    026

    We’re well into the home stretch now. Tie a length of thread to the very tip of the bowsprit with equal lengths on either side. Run each side to the respective end of the spritsail yard (the horizontal spar holding the furled sail to the bowsprit) and then to the hull proper. I usually wrap the line over the cathead and glue and trim the end. Finally, run a new piece of line from the tip of the bowsprit to the dolphin striker—that vertical stick hanging down from the bowsprit. You can either trim the line off here or continue to run it to the actual stem of the hull as a ‘martindale’.
    027

    The rigging is now complete. You should feel a sense of pride as you add the ensigns and pennants!
    028
    029
    030

    032

    031

    Time for a tot (or more) of rum!

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #135379
    Norm S
    Participant

    Thank you so much for taking the time to this. My ships remain on their sprues, things are now a little less daunting!

    #135384
    jeffers
    Participant

    Outstanding! I could never do this, though. I’d end up like Father Dougal making Christmas decorations…

    More nonsense on my blog: http://battle77.blogspot.com/

    #135700
    Thomaston
    Participant

    Thanks for the totorial. Having seen all the steps, I don’t think I’ll buy an age of sail ship again.

    Tired is enough.
    I like tiny miniatures

    #135711
    Volunteer
    Participant

    Well Jeff, that’s a darn good tutorial! There’s a lot of thought went into some of those ideas. You should start a blog so people have a place to go to reference your stuff. Me for one!

    Oh, and thanks for the plug.

    "Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing"
    Wernher von Braun

    #135748

    Thanks, guys.

    @Thomaston… Well, THAT was never my intention! The third sentence applies above all else: ‘Work to your own satisfaction.’ I put off trying to rig for years. Just had to find a technique that worked for me (and a scale!).

    I had a blog for a while ( https://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/ ). It felt very one sided, though, and I struggled to keep it current. I find the give-and-take of a forum more satisfying.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #135895
    Volunteer
    Participant

    Well Jeff I followed the link to your blog and found a lot of interesting posts. I was amazed at the dearth of commenters. The posts that drew my attention most were of course the ships, and I have questions.

    "Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing"
    Wernher von Braun

    #135928

    Qestions, eh? Ask away!

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #135991
    Volunteer
    Participant

    Ok…..

    Whatever happened with your galley casting project?

    Your 1/600 scale ACW scratchbuilt ships were awesome! Where’s the how-to’s for us more creatively challenged folks?

    "Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing"
    Wernher von Braun

    #136039

    Well, true to form the home-cast galleon project stalled once I figured out how to do it. Typical of me. I cast up around eight of the small galleons, painted two and… nothing since. They sit on the shelf staring at me reproachfully. As they have done for the past 12 years or so. The Black Seas ships seem to have reinvigorated me in that regards, though.

    As for the ACW ships, the originals were built up out of balsa and different thicknesses of sheet styrene. All that was done in pre-internet times. Blogs simply weren’t done! However, with the three Commodore ferry boats and the Itasca, I made a silicon mould and cast a couple out of epoxy. I’ve still got the moulds but no longer have the originals. Once I went down that path I began talking to one of the guys with Bay Area Yards about having them cast them up and sell them. I sent the masters to them but communication kind of just faded away and the masters never came back. To be honest, most of these vessels are so unique–who needs more than one? So, I wasn’t too upset. I really wasn’t interested in making and selling them myself and with Thoroughbred, Peter Pig and BAY supplying models there wasn’t much of a need for me to continue scratch building. I haven’t done much with them for a long time but I did reformat my rules and put them up on Wargame Vault a year ago (https://www.wargamevault.com/product/265133/Iron–Steam ).

     

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #136113
    Volunteer
    Participant

    What scale were the ACW ships again? They were really nice, better than most marketed ships I’ve seen.

    Shame about the galleons too. Have you seen the 1/600 Oak & Iron galleons Julian (Model J Ship) is doing? They are spectacular.

    "Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing"
    Wernher von Braun

    #136161

    Thanks. The ACW ships are 1/600th scale.

    Everything Model J Ship touches is excellent. I wasn’t too impressed with the initial pictures I saw of the Oak & Iron ships. But some of them have painted up real nice!

     

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #136350
    Volunteer
    Participant

    Hi Jeff,

    So I have been experimenting with jigs to make ratlines for the the Black Seas frigate. I came up with two jigs. The first one I made can produce the whole lower mast ratline set at one time. But this proved time consuming and difficult to thread

    Ratline jig 1

    I used these for the lower masts.

    The second jig I made is much simpler and faster to thread, but only does one ratline set at a time.

    Ratline jig 2

    After mounting the ratlines I worked the rest of the standing rigging.

    While doing so I discovered the predrilled holes for the formast, mainmast and mizzenmast stays are too far forward, just inside the aft end of the chains/channels so the stays don’t show behind the ratlines. I will be drilling new holes farther aft on the remaining ships.

    "Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing"
    Wernher von Braun

    #136389

    You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

    Your experience at building and rigging 1/1200 is coming into play here, I suspect. Also looks the ‘Mericans are coming to play. I see stunsail spars, boat davits and it looks like the tops have been extended. Are those your modifications? I’m not even thinking of topmast rigging!

    Yeah, the holes for the backstays is a consistent problem with these models. I guess for most gamers it won’t be an issue. Depends on your level of obsession!

    On the upside I found a tool that has become my best friend. Turns out he’s been sitting on my desk forever but I found the original magnifying glass to be a PITA. Take that off and, viola! It’s like an extra pair of hands! I’ve noticed you use something to hold the models. What is that?

     

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #136479
    Volunteer
    Participant

    Hey I have one of those! I never thought about using it that way.  Thanks for that. I use a vice I bought from MicroMart, I think it’s called a jeweler’s vice. It’s been worth its weight in gold. Yes all those things you mentioned are my mods.

    I finally finished the ship tonight

    https://volsminiatures.blogspot.com/2020/05/black-seas-frigate-chesapeake-finished.html?m=1

    "Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing"
    Wernher von Braun

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